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The Ramesses III detainee tiles

Ahmed Samir
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The Ramesses III

detainee tiles are an assortment of Egyptian faience portraying detainees of war. found in Ramesses III's royal residences at Medinet Habu (nearby the Mortuary Temple at Medinet Habu) and Tell el-Yahudiyeh. Enormous quantities of faience tiles have been tracked down here by sebakh-diggers beginning around 1903; the most popular are those portraying unfamiliar individuals or detainees. Many were found in unearthed trash piles.


The Ramesses III detainee tiles
The Ramesses III


They are considered of huge verifiable and ethnographical interest, given the portrayal of adjoining populaces during the Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt (1189 BC-1077 BC). Tiles were seen as in 1870 at Tell el-Yahoudieh and in 1903 in Medinet Habu. Those of Tell el-Yahoudieh are bigger, with a width of around 10.5 centimeters (4.1 in), while those are Medinet Habu fall into two gatherings 30 by 7 centimeters (11.8 in × 2.8 in) and 25 by 6.5 centimeters (9.8 in × 2.6 in). Every one of the tiles are rectangular, with a base thickness of 1.0-1.2 centimeters (0.39-0.47 in), and along with the help model individuals, the all out thickness is 1.8-2.0 centimeters (0.71-0.79 in).
The Ramesses III detainee tiles


The Medinet Habu detainee tiles were initially situated in three rectangular cells on one or the other side of the castle entryways, every one of 30.5 centimeters (12.0 in) in level and 8 centimeters (3.1 in) in width.
The Ramesses III detainee tiles
In every one of the tiles, the detainees are shown standing up. In certain tiles, the bottoms of the detainees' feet lay on the ground; in others they might be deciphered as running or hanging. The detainees' arms are frequently tied, and in different tiles a white and dark rope with oak seeds at the finishes is displayed around the neck.
The Ramesses III detainee tiles


ID and provenance

In his 1911 paper on the tiles, French Egyptologist Georges Daressy, of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, noticed that the tiles have no engravings, so recognizable proof of the people groups shown required an examination of the drawings with recently known sanctuary bas-reliefs or burial place canvases, giving some vulnerability: Tragically, there is no engraving on these tiles fixing the name of the people groups addressed; we are compelled to contrast and the bas-reliefs of the sanctuaries or the works of art of the burial places to find a comparative kind and we are at times confused.
The Ramesses III detainee tiles


Formal removal work at Medinet Habu by the Egyptian Antiquities Service (EAS) finished in 1899, however work went on by nearby fellahin sebakh-diggers (sebakh is the nitrogen-rich remaining parts of antiquated mud block, uncovered to be utilized as manure). In 1903, the fellahin found survives from toppled entryways, still mostly covered with their unique beautification in plated tiles.




A few pieces vanished, yet most were gathered by the "ghafirs" and sent by Howard Carter, then Chief Inspector of the EAS in Upper Egypt, to the Cairo Museum, along with four of the points of support and an overdoor to which they had a place. The Egyptian Museum tablets Ramesses III are numbered JE 36261 a-b, 36271, 36399, 36440 a-c, 36441 a-c, 36457 a-k, as well as one preceding the 1903 promotions numbered JE 27525.

The Boston Museum of Fine Arts noted in 1908 that the tiles' "provenance involves question". They were bought in 1903 for the historical center by Albert Lythgoe from Luxor-based relics seller Mohamed Mohassib; the buy was made as a feature of a gathering (03.1566-03.1577; 03.1578a-I).
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